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Tom Mix, Published April 22 2014

Spartans sweep Bruins in EDC baseball

FARGO – Fargo North plated one run in the bottom of the second inning and sophomore right-handed pitcher Nathan Hegstad took care of the rest.

Hegstad – making his first career varsity start – struck out three and scattered three hits in a 1-0 complete-game shutout win over Fargo South in the first game of an Eastern Dakota Conference baseball doubleheader Tuesday at North High School. North (6-4, 6-0 EDC) swept the doubleheader, picking up a 4-3 come-from-behind in Game 2.

“I was shaking at the start of every inning, especially in the first and the seventh,” Hegstad said. “Those were the big ones.”

Hegstad did not allow the Bruins a hit after the third inning and retired 11 of final 12 batters he faced.

“I got a lot of help from my defense,” Hegstad said. “I got a lot of ground balls, and the guys behind me made some great plays.”

North posted its lone run when junior outfielder Carter Thompson connected for a two-out RBI double that scored junior Tyler Anderson.

Like any starter, Hegstad would have preferred a larger cushion, but he worked with what was provided.

“We got a little lucky there,” Hegstad said of the one run, but South starter Brennan Bennington was effective striking out five in five innings of work.

Senior second baseman Dallas Raftevold was 2-for-3 to lead the Bruins in Game 1.

South (2-2, 2-2 EDC) jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first inning of Game 2 and held a 3-0 lead heading into the bottom of the seventh inning.

Senior starting pitcher Andrew Blumer was one out away from recording his own complete-game shutout, and it appeared he got it when he struck out North’s Mike Boutain, but the ball was in the dirt and catcher Andrew Penney’s throw down to first was off target, allowing a run to score.

It unraveled from there for the Bruins, who committed two errors in the seventh.

Later in the inning, senior Seth Brenneman connected for a two-run single to plate the tying and game-winning runs.

“We knew (Blumer) likes to throw fastballs and we were having trouble hitting them, but at the end of the game we started to catch up to them,” Brenneman said. “I was expecting a first-pitch fastball from him because that is how he had been pitching me the whole game.”

It was a sudden switch of momentum.

“We got a few breaks at the end and we were fortunate to get them and turn them into something,” North head coach Jeff Fiechtner said.

Blumer finished with 11 strikeouts.

“We made too many errors,” South head coach Donn Bryant said. “Andrew got the ground balls he needed to get and pitched a really good game, but we needed guys to step up and make some plays at the end, and we just were not able to make any.”

South 000 000 0 – 0 3 0

North 010 000 0 – 1 3 0

Bennington, Prisinzano (6) and Penney. Hegstad and Rider. W–Hegstad. L–Bennington.

South 200 010 0 – 3 4 5

North 000 000 4 – 4 7 1

Blumer and Penney. Christianson, Schroeder (5) and Rider . W–Schroeder. L–Blumer.

Readers can reach Forum reporter

Tom Mix at (701) 241-5562